MASSILLON (AP) — Adam Bertke knows he and Maria Stein Marion Local are in rare air and the view is great from where he sits.
Bertke threw for a touchdown and ran for two more scores to lead the Flyers to their third consecutive state title with a 33-0 win over Glouster Trimble in the Ohio Division VII championship on Saturday.
Marion Local (15-0) became the seventh school in Ohio High School Athletic Association history to win three or more consecutive titles, joining Cincinnati Moeller, Cleveland St. Ignatius, Delphos St. John’s, Newark Catholic, Versailles and Youngstown Ursuline.
“It means a lot to us and our community,” Bertke said. “Just to be out there with those top schools, it’s an awesome honor.”
It was the seventh state title for the Associated Press’ top-ranked team. The win over the No. 3 Tomcats (14-1) extended the Flyers’ winning streak to 22 games.
Marion Local broke the game open in the third quarter, picking off AP co-offensive player of the year Konner Standley on consecutive possessions and quickly turning those turnovers into points.
Peyton Kramer’s interception gave Marion Local the ball on the Trimble 11 and Jacy Goettemoeller scored on the next play to make it 19-0. Chris Lochtefeld picked off another pass on Trimble’s next possession and Bertke scored on a 3-yard run to give Marion Local a 26-point lead.
“I think it really took them out of what they wanted to do offensively,” Flyers coach Tim Goodwin said. “It really played into our hands. We match up really well when teams want to spread us out and throw the ball. It’s kind of our strength. It was bad news for them.”
Scoring quick is nothing new for an offense led by Bertke, a Pittsburgh recruit. Marion Local averaged 45.8 points in the playoffs coming in.
The Flyers totaled 414 yards of offense, including 153 rushing. Bertke finished 17-of-28 for 216 yards and added 47 yards rushing. Goettemoeller had 44 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
“Once we get into a groove we have the mentality that no one can stop us,” Bertke said. “Once we settle down and everyone knows what they’re doing, it’s good.”
As good as the offense was, the Flyers’ defense might have been better, recording their fifth shutout of the season.
Standley finished 3-of-16 for 35 yards and threw three interceptions as Kramer (interception, sack), Joe Schwieterman (interception, 4½ tackles) and Jacob Kunkler (5½ tackles) held the Tomcats at bay.
Trimble’s offense finished with 104 yards and the Tomcats averaged only 1.96 yards per play.
“We tried everything we had and we could just tell we weren’t going to get outside on them,” Trimble coach Phil Faires said.
“They were blitzing on us, but their team speed, you can’t simulate that in practice, especially when you’re in the gym. They have a lot more than two guys that you have to pinpoint to block. There were 11 of them out there.”